United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Petitioner's
“18 U.S.C. § 3582 Motion to Modify and Reduce
Sentence, ” (Doc. 1), that was docketed in the instant
civil case as a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside,
or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody.
pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in the
underlying criminal case. (3:15-cr-82-FDW, Doc. Nos. 2-3).
The Presentence Information Report (“PSR”) was
calculated based on the 2014 U.S. Sentencing Guideline
Manual. The base offense level was scored as 34 based on the
amount of drugs for which Petitioner was responsible, 501.1
grams of actual methamphetamine. U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1
(3:15-cr-82-FDW, Doc. No. 11 at ¶ 18). Two levels were
deducted pursuant to the safety valve, and three levels were
deducted for acceptance of responsibility, resulting in a
total offense level of 29. (3:15-cr-82-FDW, Doc. No. 11 at
¶¶ 19, 25-27). He had no criminal history points
and criminal history category of I. (3:15-cr-82-FDW, Doc. No.
11 at ¶ 36). The resulting advisory guideline range was
87-108 months' imprisonment. (3:15-cr-82-FDW, Doc. No. 11
at ¶ 50). The Court adopted the PSR without change and,
on August 13, 2015, sentenced him to 97 months'
imprisonment followed by two years of supervised release.
(3:15-cr-82-FDW, Doc. Nos. 15-16).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
to Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings,
sentencing courts are directed to promptly examine motions to
vacate, along with “any attached exhibits and the
record of prior proceedings” in order to determine
whether a petitioner is entitled to any relief. After having
considered the record in this matter, the Court finds that no
response is necessary from the United States. Further, the
Court finds that this matter can be resolved without an
evidentiary hearing. See Raines v. United States,
423 F.2d 526, 529 (4th Cir. 1970).
seeks relief pursuant to Amendment 782 of the U.S. Sentencing
Guidelines, which reduced the sentencing guidelines for most
federal drug trafficking offenders by reduced by two levels
the offense levels in USSG § 2D1.1(c)'s Drug
Quantity Table. The U.S. Sentencing Commission made Amendment
782 retroactive effective November 1, 2014.
petition for a reduced sentence pursuant to a U.S. Sentencing
Guideline Amendment is properly brought via § 3582
rather than § 2255. See United States v.
Goines, 357 F.3d 469, 473 (4th Cir. 2004);
Boulware v. United States, 2016 WL 6986708 (W.D.
N.C. Nov. 28, 2016) (stating that a petitioner must seek
relief based on a retroactive amendment to the sentencing
guidelines under § 3852, if at all). Therefore, the
pro se Petition correctly labeled the instant
petition as one under § 3582, and it should not have
been reconstrued as a § 2255 Motion to Vacate. Therefore
the instant § 2255 civil action is dismissed without
claim for relief under § 3582 is meritless. Petitioner
was sentenced under the 2014 version of the U.S. Sentencing
Guideline Manual. See (3:15-cr-82, Doc. No. 11 at
¶ 17). That version of the Manual includes the
Amendments effective November 1, 2014, i.e.,
Amendment 782. Petitioner's base offense level was scored
as 34 for at least 500 grams, but less than 1.5 kilograms, of
actual methamphetamine. U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(c)(3) (2014).
That offense level reflects a two-level reduction from the
2013 Guidelines pursuant to Amendment 782. No further
reduction is warranted.
reasons stated herein, the Court will dismiss the instant
§ 2255 action without prejudice. The pro se
pleading is instead considered on the merits under §
3582 and relief is denied as meritless.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that
Motion to Vacate, (Doc. 1), DISMISSED